is your inner child sabotaging you?

story of the brown haired girl

There is a brown haired girl sitting in the last row of Sister Magdalen’s 3rd grade class. She’s got her nose burried in a book and has her pencil at the ready to write in her composition book should someone come over to talk to her. These free periods are worse than the actual lessons. Most of the other students are huddled around one another’s desks chatting and giggling and some were drawing. But not the brown haired girl. She’s always alone.

Suddenly one of the girls comes from behind to ask the brown haired girl a question. “You’re a girl scout, right?”
The brown haired girl turns in her chair to answer “Yes”
“So how would I join if I was interested?”
“I guess I could ask my mom…..” Just then there was a burst of laughter in the front of the room. The girl asking the questions looked up over the brown haired girl and smiled, no laughed. The brown haired girl turned around to see two of her classmates hanging a sign up on the wall above the chalkboard and right behind the teacher. It was a sign directed at the brown haired girl.

Scope. Once in the morning does it.

The little brown haired girl was embarrassed. Hurt. Crushed. The stress and anxiety she experienced on a daily basis which led to her undetected the stomach ulcer was the cause of her bad breath. But she didn’t know that. All she knew was that today, she learned a valuable lesson. She established a truth she would carry with her into adulthood: Never trust anyone who is nice to you; Never trust those in charge (teacher) to protect you from harm.

Read the rest of the story and what it means to you here

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how to build rapport: don’t mimic me!

A colleague recently told me that I don’t appreciate how difficult it is for an anywhere worker to build rapport. I know it is important to get feedback, so I refrained from reacting and simply asked him why. He said it’s because it comes naturally to me. I paused. Really? I’m glad it looks natural. What would you say if I told you it has taken me years to develop that natural talent? I’ve read books, attended seminars, observed others with this ‘natural’ talent, and finally tried the various approaches to see what worked for me.

If you want to have that natural ability, all you have to do is practice. Let’s start with the very first meeting you have with a new person. It could be a prospective client, team mate, or potential new friend. What would you do first? My colleague said he uses a technique he learned in a sales training seminar called mimicking. In order to make the other person feel comfortable and ‘connect’ with you on a subconscious level, you mirror or mimick their breathing, body language, tone, pace, and even language (use of slang and so on). He said it works about thirty percent of the time for him when he meets someone in person, but rarely works in virtual meetings. Since most of his work is virtual, he wanted to know my secret.

Building Rapport – Virtually, Authentically

For this to become a natural talent, you need to find not only what works for you, but what appears natural for you. I can share with you my approach, but I can not guarantee it will work for you. Like I said, I collected all types of approaches but only after I tested all of them was I able to select what works (authentically) for me. Here’s my approach to the first meeting with a new person:

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30 powerful questions for coaching and reflecting

To be, or not to be: that is the question. ~William Shakespeare

Powerful questions can be used in coaching, self-reflection, leadership development, team collaboration, and even critical thinking. Often one question can be enough to ignite an illuminating conversation ending in the all powerful ‘ah ha’ moment of a client or team mate. Below is a collection of 30 questions I have used over the years in coaching, consulting, self-reflection, and in a collaborative team setting. If these inspire critical thinking on your part, then I can enjoy the knowledge that I can inspire from a distance. If these questions inspire more questions, please let me know by leaving a comment.

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